The fact that our climate is in chaos is becoming clearer by the day. The record breaking heat waves as well as the other extreme weather events around the world and across the country are causing more and more people to realize that we need to act, yet our elected officials in Washington are doing little to nothing to solve the problem. As such, we want to get all of our Congresspeople to commit to end polluter welfare by removing subsidies for fossil fuels.
A part of this effort is to make sure our current legislators know that this is the most important issue and find out how they would respond to the climate crisis. We have asked all federal lawmakers 4 questions to determine their positions:
1. Do you support policies and legislation that would encourage the creation of green jobs and transition the United States to renewable energy?
2. Promoting walking, biking and public transportation has been shown to change behaviors that result in widespread obesity, greenhouse gas emissions, and increasingly higher costs for road, highway and bridge reconstruction. Do you support infrastructure improvements that would decrease car usage in favor of biking, walking and public transportation?
3. Do you support ending all fossil fuel subsidies – for oil, coal and natural gas – which will total $113 billion over the next decade?
4. Will you support federal legislation to reduce fossil fuel consumption and increase renewable energy production to reduce our nation’s impact on the environment and curb climate change?
350CT appreciates all the candidates who responded. Below is provided the responses from the elected candidates so our members can be informed on how our representatives plan to address the climate crisis
Chris Murphy Democratic Senator (Elect)
Richard Blumenthal Democratic Senator
John Larson Democratic Representative of District 1
Joe Courtney Democratic Representative of District 2
Rosa Delauro Democratic Representative of District 3
James Himes Democratic Representative of District 4
Elizabteh Esty Democratic Representative of District 5 (Elect)
- Chris Murphy
We can no longer afford to keep our heads buried in the sand when it comes to supporting forward looking environmental policies that will limit carbon emissions and create America jobs. That means building the legislative groundwork to create a sustained price signal on carbon pollution. That also means providing stable reauthorizations of renewable energy grants and tax credit programs, so that investors have the market certainty they need to finance new projects and installations.
Connecticut suffers from 60 years of urban planning that emphasized suburbs over urban living, car over public transportation, and subdivisions over walkable communities. If we want to make our state truly more attractive for young people, new families, and businesses, we need to make it possible for residents of our state to commute and work near where they live. That why I’m a strong supporter of the New Haven – Hartford commuter rail line and well as the existing Waterbury and Danbury branch rail lines. Until we give Connecticut residents another way to get to and from work, they’ll remain forever stuck in their cars – in ever-growing highway gridlock.
That’s why I voted repeatedly over my three terms in Congress to cut tax subsidies and write-offs for oil companies and rescind ill-advised royalty-free drilling previously granted to those firms. At a time of record oil company profits, we simply can’t afford to provide unnecessary subsidies that could be better spent paying down our debt and investing in new technologies.
As a member of Congress, I’ve worked to support progressive environmental policies that address the challenges faced by both the country as whole and my home here in New England. In 2007, that meant pushing for the inclusion of an aggressive federal Renewable Energy Standard (RES) in the House energy bill. As a member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee in 2009, it meant beating back attempts to fatally weaken the Waxman-Markey climate change legislation while preserving funding for international climate adaptation, energy efficiency, and demand-side renewable distributed generation incentives. In 2011, it meant helping to lead the charge against the tar sands Keystone XL pipeline, pointing out the threats it posed to regional watershed integrity and climate security.
- Joe Courtney
As a Member of Congress, I have proudly supported efforts like the Recovery Act to invest in job creation through development of renewable energy technologies. In addition, I helped pass legislation to increase vehicle energy efficiency standards and invest in new energy efficient technologies to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. And, in this session, I have opposed Republican efforts is to slash investment in science, innovation and alternate energy technologies.
I support robust infrastructure investment that not only supports our roads, highways and bridges, but invests in a broad range of improvements, including rail, bike, and transit support, to make our communities more livable and more accessible.
I support elimination of wasteful subsidies that exist in the tax code today for oil and gas companies who, even while receiving billions in taxpayer funded tax breaks, are reporting record profits. I have voted several times to include elimination of these excess tax breaks as part of a balanced debt and deficit reduction deal to address the nation’s long term fiscal challenges.
As discussed in question one, I strongly support investment in new energy technologies that reduce fossil fuel consumption and, at the same time, grows jobs through manufacturing of these new technologies.
- Rosa Delauro
I’ve also introduced the Job Creation and Energy Efficiency Act, which would help businesses and local governments finance energy efficiency retrofit projects and encourage job growth by greening our existing buildings.
I have long supported investments in multimodal transportation and livable community projects to improve our way of life.
I’m also a cosponsor of the End Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act, which would end many fossil fuel subsidies.
- Elizabeth Esty
I have a record of advocating for renewable energy investments and green job creation. In the State House, I voted for legislation to 1) create renewable energy incentives for green energy investments in state recognized enterprise zones and 2) require electric companies to contract for new wind, hydro-electric, and other renewable generation capacity. I also backed a jobs bill that included a sales tax exemption for machinery, supplies, and fuel used in renewable energy industries. And I stood up as a member of the Energy & Technology Committee to call for a focus on renewable energy and green jobs.
One of my top goals in Congress will be to move us toward a comprehensive long-term national energy policy. That’s going to mean a significant investment in safe, clean, sustainable forms of energy production like solar, wind and bio-fuels. We also need an increased emphasis on energy efficiency.
Investing in infrastructure to decrease car usage in favor of biking, walking, and public transportation is a winning solution on every front. Safe, clean, affordable transportation options reduce harmful greenhouse emissions that cause climate change and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The construction of new transportation options provides jobs in the short term and promotes long-term economic development. And providing walking and biking options empowers Americans to make healthier lifestyle choices and helps prevent many long-term health problems.
It’s absurd that at a time when oil companies are making record profits and we’re facing a record deficit, we’re still providing subsidies for Big Oil. Budgets should reflect our priorities as a nation, and a bigger profit margin for oil companies should not be a national priority.
Reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and increasing renewable energy production is critical for our environment, our economy, and our national security. I support incentives for renewable energy production and energy efficiency, a strong renewable electricity standard, and the building of more fuel-efficient vehicles. I also believe that it is vital that we invest in the research and development of clean energy technologies.